Erie County seeing increasing suicide rate


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s a packed room in the back of Crisis Services where Jessica Pirro is talking to the Suicide Coalition.

“Stigma from mental health is a huge piece that prevents people from getting help and potentially leads to death,” said Pirro, the CEO at Crisis Services.

The Medical Examiner reports 115 people died from suicide in 2017, up from the 96 a few years ago.

The county created a coalition in 2012 after several teen suicides. While the number of teens who have died from suicides has decreased, there are several groups seeing upward trends including 20 to 30 year olds, middle aged men, and senior citizens.

The CEO says this information is helpful for the organization to know so they can figure out where to direct their resources.

“We need to bring back compassion when reaching out to people who are struggling. We can’t look at them like they’re weak but we need to see them as people who are having a hard time and need our help.”

If you or someone you know is in need of talking about a crisis, call the 24 hour hotline at (716)834-3131

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